I keep hearing about alienated aka target parents and their irritation/distress/annoyance/unhappiness/confusion that gifts, cards and money that they send to their alienated kids aren't acknowledged. I've even seen someone comment that they "never get so much as a thank you".
Folks, these kids are not your enemies and they don't actually owe you a thank you. These kids are in difficult, distressing, confusing and extremely painful places in their lives and those two words are probably the last things on their minds.
Don't send them gifts at all if you expect something in return, or if you decide to feel that your children owe you! That's not what it's about! Your attempts to reach them are about reaching them! They shouldn't be about getting something back from your child! If you feel hurt that your presents get ignored or go unacknowledged, try to put yourself in your child's place.
They are without one of their parents and may have been told that the non-present parent hates them. Your child might feel worthless. Thank yous are probably the last things on their mind right now.
If they do want to thank you, they may not be physically or mentally allowed to
: they might want to - but the other parent won't let them carry out the act; they might want to, but the other parent may have put them in such a terrible position that their life will be miserable if they so much as admit having received something from you, let alone liking it.
Also, if they are anything like me at times, they will think that you sending them gifts is the least you can do, under the circumstances. Someone on a mailing list asked a question about a child's lack of response to receiving gifts (this person was asking this question from a genuine place, not, as far as I'm concerned, from a sense of feeling like they deserve or are owed a thank you).
This was my response:
"Perhaps in her mind she feels so cheated because of the alienation/lies that she feels he owes her. Sometimes I took from my TP mother simply because I felt she owed me materially, given that she "didn't love me" or fill my emotional needs in a way that the AP told me she should. He used to say "if lying to her or cheating her gets you what you wanted, who cares? If it gets you what you want, go along with it. Use her because she's using you."" Apparently the TP just wanted to "control me and use me to control" the other parent, so why not not take from her? Use the user!